The table had been laid but Mr. Duggal failed to emerge from his room. It was ten, and Mr. Duggal was expected to be at the Saturday club by 11 a.m. for the usual golf match. ..
The shrill siren of the police vehicle shattered the silence of the Duggal house. After a few questions and visits by the forensic department, Duggal’s personal room had been sealed till further orders. The lifeless body of the man was carried outside for autopsy.
The inquisitive neighbours peeped from the outside of the huge iron gates of Duggal’s in their vicinity, discussing and rumour mongers had the upper hand with their various theories making rounds. After retirement, Mr. Duggal had some problems with phlegm and otherwise was very healthy. He never agreed to marry as he wished to live life without any bondage.
The roll of paper found on his writing table under a diary had a sentence ”Give me a good reason..WHY?” Someone had pasted the words after clipping them from a newspaper, most probably to hide identification. A pencil was brutally broken into two.
Mr. Duggal’s only neice, Shalini, had arrived and was at a loss for words. Shalini’s mother had confided in her daughter about uncle’s casanova lifestyle and how she had repeatedly warned him, as it could land him in trouble.
The wait for the autopsy report was quickly over with the revealing of the cause; murder with a blunt weapon.
The day before the murder Mr. Duggal had gone to Bombay Club, as related by Brijesh, the driver of his Mercedes. Duggal drove himself as Brijesh had taken a day’s leave and returned to Duggal’s in the evening. On further investigation, involvement of an insider became evident. The gardener had come across a torn piece of newspaper with parts clipped in the garden near a flower pot. The newspapers were kept in the corner of the room, shared by the chauffer and the gardener. Brijesh, the driver was the most learned of the lot of servants. He had a bachelor degree in physics and had befriended the gardener to get a job under Mr. Duggal.
After meeting the wife of Brijesh, the motive was laid bare. Lily, the wife of Brijesh had been a regular cleaning maid at the Duggal residence, but had left the job for good. It came to be known that Lily had been continuously sexually harassed by Duggal and her torment came to the forefront when Brijesh happened to accidentally enter Mr. Duggal’s personal room. Duggal was trying to force Lily to give in to his misconduct. That day, as Brijesh spoke out, he had broken the pencil on the table in two. His anger was such that he could kill Duggal with his bare hands right on the spot, but he waited for the right moment. Lily was pregnant with his first child. He never regretted his role. He had murdered him friday night, right after ten.
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